‘HAS TO STOP’ GARY NEVILLE has refused to say whether he’d start Wout Weghorst or Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United, leaving Jamie Carragher stunned.
After Weghorst’s underwhelming display in the 2-0 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday, boss Erik ten Hag’s selections came under the microscope.
Gary Neville danced around the subject of who he’d pick between Wout Weghorst and Cristiano Ronaldo
Neville, 48, showed a chart to try and back up his point
Despite being brought in as a stop-gap January loan from Burnley following Ronaldo’s exit, the Dutch forward has started virtually every game since moving to the Red Devils.
With Weghorst having only scored two goals in 19 appearances, Neville used a chart of alternative stats to show his value over Ronaldo.
But he refused to go as far as to say that the 30-year-old is better than his former team-mate at present.
Appearing on Sky Sports, Neville said: “Since Sunday that seems to have been a moment, he has played basically every moment since coming in.
“I called him a placeholder because United didn’t invest in a striker United would want.
“This experiment has to stop, Weghorst has to come out, it can no longer go on, the reason he continues to play and why Ronaldo is no longer at the club, you see his 19 starts against Ronaldo’s 19 starts.
“Weghorst has 12 wins, four draws, three defeats, he has only scored two goals but the team has scored 37 goals, with Ronaldo it was 19 starts, they won three less games, drawn three, lost four more with him in the team, he scored 11 but the team itself only scored 23, they are massive differences.
“It is the strangeness of football is having a player who isn’t good enough to be a Manchester United forward but has brought more profit to the team.
Weghorst, 30, underwhelmed against Newcastle on Sunday
Ronaldo has scored nine goals in eight Saudi Pro League appearances
“I believe he (Ronaldo) is the greatest player of all time.”
Neville, 48, then claimed that Weghorst’s continued selection is due to the underlying data.
He added: “I think ultimately the reason he left Ronaldo out was because of the stats, I think it is clear Weghorst isn’t fit to lace Ronaldo’s boots but those are stark stats playing in same period with same team-mates, he was really poor on Sunday, he shouldn’t be there, but the reason he is there is because of those stats.”
Carragher, 45, then pressed for a definitive answer as to which forward would be better for United at the moment… but Neville opted to dance around the subject.
He replied: “I don’t think either of them at this moment in time should play for Man United. It is more important who Ten Hag picks.
“I don’t know… Ronaldo now is playing in Saudi Arabia, he left, that was a provocative chart, I put the chart up because of why Ten Hag continues to pick him.
“I don’t know who I would pick, you would move it game to game. If I was playing at Old Trafford I’d play Ronaldo, away from home probably Weghorst.”
Ronaldo, 38, has scored nine goals in eight games since moving to the Saudi Pro League.
‘IT’S EASY TO CRITICISE’
While still at United during the first half of the season he blanked Neville pitchside.
In a world exclusive interview with Sun columnist Piers Morgan, Ronaldo admitted: “To listen as ex-colleagues or team-mates criticise you, when they only see one point of view. It’s easy.
“It’s easy to criticise, I don’t know if you have a job in television that they must criticise to be more famous. I really don’t understand it.
“It’s hard when you see people who was in the dressing room with you criticising that way.”
Then asked if he was friends with Neville or fellow former team-mate Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo scathingly added: “They are not my friends, they are colleagues. We play together, they’re not coming, we’re not ever having dinner together.”
Jamie Carragher pressed Neville for an answer